September 12, 2011

Update, and a Plan.

Well, the old farmhouse is gone.  A neighbor stopped by to thank us for getting rid of "the old neighborhood haunted house."  Most of the brush is gone.  We're pretty much wiping the slate clean for the property, and starting over.

We've got the core of our site plan done, and it's exciting.  A new entrance will lead directly to the tasting room, through some rows of vines.  The back of the building will look out over the fields, hopefully creating a pleasant view and a place to sip some wine outdoors.

To the left will be the aging/storage room, then the equipment barn; to the right will be a parking lot and then the winery. 

This fall, we expect to have the deer fence and the barn up, and water and power to it. 

In 2012, we'll plant remaining vines and build the remaining buildings. 

We expect we'll have wine in 2013, although some of it will be from others' grapes for the first year. 

Sometimes it seems like we'll never get there; other times it's hard to believe we've come so far.

July 21, 2011


To quote Scott, "I'm not sayin' we're good at it yet, but we are growin' grapes!"

June 4, 2011

History of Our Efforts Thus Far

In 2008, two friends (Bill Bluhm and Scott Lindgren) talked about how cool it might be to have a vineyard and winery.  We went with our wives to Napa to do research (so to speak).  As the discussion get more serious, we began looking initially for a small plot of land to experiment with some vines. 

We started talking about potential wine quality, and how cold weather grapes have never produced great wine.  We figured that, to produce pretty good wine, we'd probably need to use some juice we import from California or Oregon.  We found that Minnesota requires its wine to use 51% local juice, but Wisconsin does not, which caused us to lean toward a vineyard over the border.

Eventually, we found a small farm for sale in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, and bought it.  In 2010, we planted 125 vines in a test plot-- 25 vines each of 5 different varieties.  We visited a few wineries, eventually finding a group of guys from Danzinger Winery in Alma, WI, who were willing to consult with us to help us build our vineyard and winery. 

The vines we just planted were mostly of the Marquette variety  (  It is a promising grape.  I tasted some wine this past winter that had been aged a year in Minnesota oak, and it was actually quite good.  We also planted a couple rows of Brianna(
We hope to have the deer fence up in a few weeks, and an equipment shed by the end of the summer.  First step, though, is finding the right spot for a new well.
Here's a picture of our two families at the planting last weekend.

May 30, 2011

We're On Our Way

Nine of us worked over Memorial Day Weekend to plant 1,500 new vines and attach the grow tubes.  Scott had staked out the rows and overseen the installation of the posts last week.  When the time comes, each of those vines will produce 5 bottles of wine.  This is about 4 acres of land.  We hope to triple that next year.